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  Congo

Reference Date: 13-May-2019

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Adequate weather conditions at start of 2019 for main crops

  2. Inflation rates forecast to remain at low levels in 2019

  3. Since end-2018, about 16 000 refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo seeked refuge in country increasing needs for humanitarian assistance

Adequate weather conditions at start of 2019 for main crops

Planting of cassava, the principal staple in the country, is currently underway. Planting of the 2019 maize crop, for harvest in June-July, was completed in March. According to remote sensing analysis, seasonal rains started on time in February, facilitating planting operations. Subsequently, rainfall has been generally adequate over most cropping areas, benefitting crop development.

Disturbing resurgence of plant and animal pathologies

Maize is mainly grown for the production of livestock feed. A small portion is for human consumption. However, this crop is severely affected by pests, the most important of which is Fall Armyworm. This pathogen has spread throughout the country and deserves national action to keep it under control. This is also the case for cassava cultivation where Mosaic Virus and Root Rot dominate in some production areas. Endemic, re-emerging and emerging animal diseases, including Zoonoses are a serious concern in addition to the threat of their anti-microbial resistance. Moreover, the country is at risk of the introduction of the Ebola Virus Disease from neighbouring countries.

Import requirements in 2019 forecast at above average level

Domestic crop production covers a small proportion of the consumption requirements, with imports accounting for approximately 90 percent of the total cereal utilization, mainly through commercial channels.

In 2019 marketing year (January/December), cereal import requirements, mainly wheat and rice, are forecast at about 372 000 tonnes, similar to the previous year’s above average level.

Inflation rates forecast to remain low in 2019

In 2018, the average inflation rate was estimated at 1.6 percent. The low level was mainly due to the country’s membership with the CFA Franc currency, which helps to anchor prices. In 2019, the average inflation rate is forecast to remain below 2 percent.

Increased assistance needed due to recent influx of refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo

At the end of December 2018, clashes erupted between two communities in the Yumbi and Mai-Ndombe regions in western Democratic Republic of Congo, resulting in about 16 000 refugees fleeing to seek refuge in the country. Almost all new arrivals have settled with host communities in the localities of Makotipoko, Bouemba, Mopongo and Mpouya, increasing the local needs for humanitarian assistance.

According to the UNHCR, the country hosts about 32 000 refugees from the Central African Republic. Most refugees are located in Likouala Province, in particular in two sites of Bétou and Impfondo, close to the Central African Republic border along the Ubangi River. Their food security is essentially guaranteed by continued humanitarian assistance.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.